Cover Image: Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet

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Member Reviews

I loved that Romeo & Juliet were turned into manga form! This was my favorite book by Shakespeare so it's such a fun idea to get people to read his work if they're not into the classics
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Romeo and Juliet- Manga Classics – by William Shakespeare, by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan (Adaptation), Julien Choy (Art), Akanovas (Lettering), Jeannie Lee (Lettering)

There is no need to go into the synopsis or plot of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays. We all know the basics of this story by now. Many have read the play in school or have seen a stage or movie adaptation at one point. So, I think it is safe to skip the analysis. 

For me, Manga is something I flat out ignored for years because I presumed without ever giving it a fair chance that it would not be something I’d enjoy. Then I discovered it was often geared towards teens or young adults, which was yet another strike against it. But, by sheer accident, I discovered Manga covered a lot of areas, and was much more complex than I’d given it credit for. 

Having gotten to an age where I’ve dipped my toes in many different genres, and sub-genres, I find that the ‘I’ve outgrown this’ or ‘aged out of’ attitude closes off many unexplored avenues and because I like to think I’m open minded, I’ve begun to reconsider areas I’ve previously closed off. As a result, I’m having a lot of fun learning about Manga, Graphic Novels, and Comics. 

Much to my surprise, I’ve found a nice selection of classic stories, in Manga/Graphic Novel format. After recently reading a memoir by Olivia Hussey, the actress who portrayed Juliet in the famous Zeffirelli 1968 film, this play was on my mind quite a lot. So, when I noticed this Manga version on Netgalley, it grabbed my attention immediately. 

For anyone who may be thinking the dialogue is 'updated' with more modern dialect, you’d be wrong. This is the same script you’d find in the original play- except there are no stage directions. Instead, those are replaced by images, which works out much better than I’d have imagined. The artwork is spectacular, as is the adaptation. Obviously, a great deal of thought went into how to present this classic in Manga form, and I’d say it came off beautifully. Granted, I’m still a novice at this, but I was pleased with the presentation. 

I did have a few technical issues, since this one is not in Kindle/ MOBI format. I had to use Adobe Edition, which is a pain, and the scrolling was terrible, especially since, of course it’s back to front. Several times my screen jumped to the end of the book and caused a great deal of frustration.

Shakespeare is still difficult to read and adjusting to this format made it an even bigger challenge. It took me a good long while to get through it. (If anyone has a suggestion on how to make this less daunting- please feel free to offer me some suggestions.) 

However, despite the heaviness of the drama, and the extra effort it required to read the book, I was impressed, and enjoyed reading this classic with the well-drawn illustrations and art work which certainly enriched and enhanced my experience.

Despite the disdain of melodrama- I liked all the angst between Romeo and Juliet- but not that sad ending! It still makes a great cautionary tale- even after all these years. 4 stars
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The Manga Classics books are all fun because tell classic stories in graphic novel form, which definitely makes them more interesting and easier to read. I wish that these books had existed when I was in high school and college. They would have been such a great supplemental material. Grab a copy of this book for any youngster who will be encountering Shakespeare for the first time this fall. This version of Romeo and Juliet will rely help bring the story alive!
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“Two households, both alike in dignity 
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, 
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes 
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows 
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. 
The fearful passage of their death-marked love 
And the continuance of their parents' rage, 
Which, but their children's end, naught could remove, 
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; 
The which if you with patient ears attend, 
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.”


I have no words. 

I loved Romeo and Juliet’s story since my childhood. I loved the Italian musicals and Zeffirelli’s production. I loved this story from the beginning. I loved this manga. 

This book is perfection in every way: the plot, the lines, the characters, the settings. All is done right. Every detailed scene is magnifique. Fabulous. 

The drawings are astonishing and iper-accurate. The characters are well described and their actions are acted as in the show.
The places are so good done: the detailed landscape and settings show us what Verona could’ve been during R&J time. The dresses and swords are beautiful. 

What I find so good, however, are the metaphors. Wow, they are perfect. Shakespeare worked with words and images, and the artist of this manga creates a universe of metaphors and symbolism so truth to the original story. This imagining flights are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in a book. And I can say that studying a lot of art history’s stuff.

Talking about the characters: can we appreciate Mercutio? He is my favorite character in the play and, oh my goodness, he is better in the manga. How can it be possible? I don know, but I love how he turned out. His personality is eruption and flowers and vicious smiles and I can see all these in the character’s style and figure. 

“I talk of dreams, 
which are the children of an idle brain, 
Be got of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
 and more inconstant than the wind, who wooes 
even now the frozen bosom of the North
and, being anger’d, puffs away from thence, 
turning his face to the dew-dropping South.”

I must do my compliment to the artist of this beautiful work. 

Thanks to Udon because this is one of the best manga I’ve ever experienced. 

Now I’m weeping on this arc because of this sad story and the perfection. Ops. 

And you, If you are reading this review, go and buy this book. Now. You will love this story and this drawings as much as I do. Go, now. 

“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eyes than twenty of their swords. 
Look thou but sweet, and I am proof against their enmity.”
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It's a pretty great manga. It recreates faithfully the classic story of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare adding the manga style of art and storytelling. They took the bold decision of using the classic version of the English language spoken in the original book and not using the Modern Translated one. It's something that may make some people not to pick this up, but this depends from person to person. So, as you can guess, they didn't change the story at all and since they had the ability to escape the theatrical stage, they used that as their advantage, by enhancing moments and confrontations, since they were able to draw the entire city as their "playground".

The art is great with some incredibly detailed art in some key moments. They do use some chibi art here and there and that was something didn't sit with me well. The panel layout and flow of the panels is also created in a way that guides your eyes from one dialogue box to the next, making it an enjoyable read. 

It's a great book and a faithful recreation of the original story. I would totally suggest this to other people
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I never admitted it till now but I'm kind of not into Shakespeare. I had a horrible incident in the 7th standard where, in spite of my stage fright, I was made to read a character from Hamlet during class reading and I got so nervous during that play that I ended up hating it for being so lengthy and for, of course, having so many characters.
Since then I've had trouble even reading, let alone liking, any of his works. And as it turns out, I can't even stand the Manga of his works. So maybe I'm not into his style of writing or storytelling.
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"Romeo and Juliet" isn't my favorite Shakespeare's tragedy (I can't see the great romantic love story everybody seems to see), but this manga is a brilliant adaptation and it captures the essence of the original play. The artwork is beautiful!
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This book's art is beautiful, as expected.

Story wise, it's nice. It reminded me of Doomed Love and, like Doomed Love, this story doesn't work as a graphic novel. There are a lot of introspective scenes , so the artists chose to draw things that were too cheesy for my taste. I know they were meant to enhance the metaphors but it felt too on the nose.

Character wise, they're dramatic, as expected.

Overall, this was a nice book. It did have its faults but it didn't make me lose interest in the original work.

Rating: 3 stars
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing with a copy of this book to read and review.

I originally read Romeo and Juliet in high school, I had trouble understanding the language. I love the manga form much more, though I did still have a hit of trouble understanding the language. The art work was once again beautiful and each character was different which made telling them apart very simplistic. 

I give this book 3/5 although I enjoyed it I did have some trouble with the language. I will still purchase and recommend though. I will have to research the old English for words I did not understand.
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I really liked the thought of Shakespeare in manga format. However, I don't think it works at all! This has nothing to do with the art style (which I think is beautiful, especially the characters of Juliet, Romeo and Juliet's mother) but just that I don't think Romeo and Juliet is suited for a manga adaptation while keeping the original text. Shakespeare isn't known for being easy to understand, you really need to get into the language. Editions like No Fear Shakespeare can help a lot. This manga doesn't help the reader in any way whatsoever with understanding what is being said. You can follow most of the story thanks to the drawings but certain conversations take up pages of just characters standing around and chatting. Having read the book a number of years ago, I do remember some of them but with others I was just puzzled. I normally recommend the manga classics for people who want to get into classics but this isn't one I would recommend at all unless you are a massive Shakespeare fan.

I do have one critique on the art style and that is that some panels are chibi style and/or supposed to be funny. I didn't think that suited the story at all! It really annoyed me at times but it was somewhat compensated by some beautiful drawings of other characters (as I have mentioned above, especially Juliet, Romeo and Juliet's mother).

Overall, this manga was a massive disappointment. It took me forever to finish because I didn't feel attracted to reading it at all. Having not read Shakespeare in a while the language was difficult for me to understand at times (mind you, not always! There are definitely parts that you can just read and understand) which made me feel incredibly bored and frustrated. As I have said, I do not recommend this manga classic. All the other ones that I have read so far have been pretty good but this one is a miss for me.
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I received this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I listened to the audiobook version of this play on Librivox and I just read the graphic novel version of it and I feel like this version makes the story come alive and I enjoyed it.
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Honestly, this is my least fave of the Manga classics.  But it's still 4/5 stars, so I think you know where I am going with this.  

These manga adaptations are brilliant.  My fave so far was the Count of Monte Cristo, but that's also my fave book... so, I was biased toward it.  My relationship with Mr. Shakespeare is a wee bit more complicated.  I appreciate his stories but reading the English of his era tests my nerves, it's just not natural to me.  If I wanted to recommend Shakespeare to someone like me?  I'd either go with an audiobook or this version.  It's a little more compact.  And the manga art form just makes anything more enjoyable.  

This is a great place to start someone reading Shakespeare.
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Book Review
Title: Romeo and Juliet (Manga Classics)
Author: Crystal S. Chan (Adaptation), Julien Choy (Art), William Shakespeare (From the original play by), Akanovas (Lettering), Jeannie Lee (Lettering) 
Genre: Classic/Manga
Rating: *****
Review: So, everyone and their mother knows Romeo and Juliet but if anyone has tried to read and/or study Shakespeare it is a pain to read, so I was thrilled to get hold of the manga classics version of one of my favourite star-crossed lovers stories ever. In the opening to Romeo and Juliet we are introduced to the age-old feud between the Houses of Montague and Capulet. However, studying this as a child I didn’t realise how dark the opening actually is. After a small fight in the street our Romeo appears, and I just love the innocent, bishi look he has been given. 
As we approach the ¼ mark in the manga, we see the peace treaty drawn up between the two houses and a banquet is to be held in Paris’ honour as he announces the woman he’d like as his bride. We learn that Romeo has recently broken up with a woman he claims to love and is going to attend the ball on the rebound while Juliet is the object of Paris’ affection. I think that makes the story all the more tragic in the end. While the old English remains, I felt that some of the comedic elements added in and the more romantic elements would have more of an impact if they were written in modern English. I would recommend that you brush up on your old English if you haven’t read or studied it in a while. 
I loved the friendship between Romeo and Mercutio which is really highlighted in this format as well as a lot of other things. We see the masked ball where Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time but not before we see Tybalt causing trouble because a Montague has found his way into their party, but his hand is stayed by the Lord. One disturbing thing I had to mention was Juliet isn’t even 14 at the start of this story while Romeo’s age isn’t definitely he is older than he maybe 15 or 16. 
As we cross the ¼ mark in the manga, Romeo and Juliet share their first kiss and their second. The pair seem to have fallen in love at first sight despite Juliet knowing that she might be promised to another. However, it is only after the ball that both learn who the other is and realise that their love can never be as they are born of the enemy and it is something that neither of their parents will allow, but that won’t stop them. We then get to the famous balcony scene in the manga which is far longer than I ever remember it being but alas it is, and it is wonderful. We see the love blooming between the pair and I am sure it will make the ending all the more sad when we already know where the pair end up.
As we approach the halfway mark in the manga, Romeo arranges with Friar Lawrence to marry his love on the morrow to which Juliet agrees and the plan is set in motion for her to be made a wife and kept away from Paris’ attentions. Juliet gets away from her family and heads for the church where Romeo is waiting for her along with Friar Lawrence. Reading this play in manga form is strange because you notice far more of the comedic elements, but you also notice more of what is going on outside of the whirlwind romance including the rising tensions that leads to the ending of the play. 
However, the peace between the families doesn’t last long when Tybalt kills Mercutio and is killed by Romeo in turn leading to Romeo being banished on pain on death. However, he can’t stand to be apart from his love, desperate and willing to end his own life rather than be separated from his wife, Friar Lawrence and Juliet’s nurse come up with a plan to bring the lovers together again. What the lovers don’t know is that Juliet’s parents are still making plans for her to marry Paris in the coming week. Knowing what sets the final arc into motion I was desperate to see how it is played out in manga form but at the same time I didn’t want to read any further because I was attached to the characters.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the manga, the Capulets swear to make Romeo pay for killing Tybalt and this is something Juliet can not allow, however, when her impending marriage to Paris is announced she knows she has to act quickly or lose her love forever. She visit Friar Lawrence who gives her guidance as he did Romeo earlier on, he also gives her a vial that will simulate death. Upon returning home she repents and tells her father that she will marry Paris fully intending to “die” before that can happen. 
As we cross into the final section of the novel, there isn’t much left of the story apart from the climax. The climax itself was beautifully presented and it is heartbreaking to think of all the death in this novel, but it is Romeo and Juliet’s deaths that bring about peace between their people which they had wanted for so long and never lived to see it. 
Overall, the beautiful and stunning artwork really captured the essence of the story, but the language used is a little complex to process. I would have preferred to have the story in modern English with only key scenes like the balcony scene, the wedding and the climax reverting to old English. However, I have to say my favourite quote is “For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo” because it just sums up the entire story in a single sentence. 
As always Udon Entertainment’s manga classics are highly recommended.
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Another wonderful adaptation of a Shakespeare classic! The graphics are once again beautiful. Despite it being a tragedy, Romeo and Juliet is an amazing story, and I believe having it as a manga will help encourage adolescents to appreciate these classics.
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I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare, so I thought that giving him a chance in manga form is a good idea. 
And it is - the artwork is absolutely gorgeous, but it still didn't make me feel better towards the actual story. Suicidal love - just not my thing. 

It was also a bit strange to see old language together with manga art - I was excepting a little bit of better readability, maybe a tad modern English adaptation, but that wasn't the case. It's not particularly a bad thing, since keeping the old classic the way it is is great, but I do feel like in this instance manga would have benefited more if it was even slightly modernized. 

Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy provided for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart.
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I'm a fan of the Manga Classics that's why I'm already aware that the publisher, Udon Entertainment, always use the original text from the book they were adapting. I know Romeo and Juliet but I still haven't read the book either watch any stage play or movie adaptation, hence, I'm eager to check out this manga adaptation.

This is the first time that I've rated a Manga Classic low because of it's not that easy to comprehend what the characters are saying because they are in Early Modern English. Just like what I've mentioned, I'm fully aware that the publisher never makes any alterations to the dialogues because they use the original format. I could understand some of the conversations in the story however, I fail to grasp several parts. Thankfully, I still got to follow the story through the illustrations.

If there would be any future plans of Udon Entertainment to adapt other works of William Shakespeare, hopefully, they will try to make the dialogues easy to understand because I'm positive that it will be more marketable even to middle-graders.
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I love the art and the character design. They resemble the characters very well. The language used is also the Old English that Shakespeare used in the original play. I thought it would be in modern english but using the kind of english the author used is very helpful to students these days. I always believe these classic mangas are educational but this by far just might be the most helpful of all.
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Once again, I am so impressed by this Manga Classics edition. I cannot sing them high enough praises. As someone who does not read many classics, but wants to, I find these editions to be a good alternate way of experiencing the story, with the addition of beautiful illustrations.
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This manga is a wonderful rendering of Romeo and Juliet. I've read many mangas adapted from books that have cut parts out from the story but this book has it all. I my opinion it's almost as good as watching it on stage.
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The emotion captured in the images is heartbreaking and luscious all at once! The story is presented in such a beautiful way, that I found it shedding light on parts of this story I hadn't noticed before. A definite five stars from me!

The Manga Classics series is a joy to read! Thank you so much to the creators for bringing this series to life!
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